McKee Botanical Garden announces its 2019-2020 schedule of events and exhibitions


Beginning in November, the Garden will host its Ocean Sole Exhibition, which will be on display throughout the Garden from November 1, 2019 through May 31, 2020.  This exhibition features 40 brightly colored, whimsical hand-crafted marine species sculptures made from recycled flip flops that have washed upon the shores of Africa and were created by artisans from Ocean Sole located in Kenya. “This exhibit invites you to explore and truly understand some of the creatures that live beneath the sea and the many ways we can become involved in conservation and help to preserve the beautiful waterways that are so important to us all,” said Christine Hobart, Executive Director.

 The story of each sculpture begins as a flip flop on someone’s feet, which is later discarded and ultimately ends up in our earth’s waterways, landfills and oceans. The artists collect, clean, compress and carve it into beautiful art. The sculptures are made from upcycled EVA rubber flip flops, contact adhesive glue, and in some of the larger sculptures, recycled Styrofoam and wire. The exhibition will include turtles, dolphins, crabs, a great white shark, seahorses, an octopus, reef fish, starfish, stingrays, a manatee and a dragonfly.

In December, McKee will host its annual Holiday Nights of Lights.  This year, the Garden is excited to extend the number of nights for this event, beginning on Tuesday, December 10 with a McKee Members Only Night.  The event will be open to the public beginning on Wednesday, December 11 through Sunday, December 22 and Friday, December 27 through Sunday, December 29 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm nightly.  The Garden will be adorned with thousands of professionally-installed holiday LED lighting displays, as well as McKee’s large-scale model train which will be on display from December 19 through the 29, excluding December 10-18.  In addition, the event features holiday-themed illuminated lanterns, a miniature holiday village, Santa and Mrs. Claus, and special holiday culinary treats from Sealantro at the Garden Café.  The Garden will close at its regular time of 5 pm and will reopen for the evening events.  (Note:  The Children’s Garden at McKee will not be open during our Holiday Nights of Lights events).

Beginning January 6 through January 24, internationally acclaimed landscape artist Patrick Dougherty, the ‘Stickman’, will return to McKee to create another hand-crafted masterpiece made exclusively for the Garden.  In January 2016, Patrick and a team of volunteers constructed “The Royals” over a three-week period.  The sculpture featured three tall towers nestled among the stately palms in the Royal Palm Grove. “The Royals” graced the Garden for two and a half years until succumbing to the weather and nature’s elements.  This January, Patrick Dougherty will once again design a one-of-a-kind sculpture woven from willow saplings harvested from a farm in upstate New York.  A team of McKee volunteers will work alongside Patrick to construct what begins as a figment of his imagination and evolves into a masterpiece for all to enjoy. 

McKee’s 11th Annual Motor Car Exhibition “The Best Cars from 40 Different Manufacturers” will be held on Saturday, February 8, 2020 from 10 am to 3 pm. The variety of cars on display will be exceptional with road cars and racers, as well as modern exotics.  Early entries include a 1913 Buick, a 1940 LaSalle and a 1954 Swallow Doretti. Be sure to mark your calendar for this highly anticipated event.

The Garden will host its 3rd Annual Garden & Antique Show and Sale on Friday, March 20 through Sunday March 22, 2020.  Over 25 antique and art purveyors from the U.S. will showcase a broad range of exquisite antique and vintage furniture, paintings, garden accessories, statuary and more.

The Garden will host the 16th Annual Waterlily Celebration on Saturday, June 20, 2020 from 8:30 am to 2:00 pm. Stroll the ponds and waterways adorned with 3oo potted and 100 free-range plants including over 80 night-and-day blooming varieties.  Enjoy potting demonstrations, plant sales (bromeliads, orchids, succulents, aquatic plants and garden accents), plein air artists, and plant experts. View photos from the Annual Waterlily Photo Contest on display in the Hall of Giants.

General admission rates apply:  $15 Adults, $13 Seniors, and $10 Children (2-12)/Military.  McKee members and children under 2 are free.  The last admission ticket is sold at 4 pm.

For more information, please visit or call 772-794-0601. 

About McKee Botanical Garden

McKee Botanical Garden is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to nurture and enhance a historic garden in a unique tropical setting for the education, enjoyment and enrichment of all.  McKee Botanical Garden is located at 350 US Highway 1 in Vero Beach.

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